Saturday movie review: 'The One I Love'

Trying to encourage folks to see a film when you can't tell them anything about the plot or you'll completely ruin the film is a tough thing to do. But that's exactly what I'll attempt here with the quirky, completely unpredictable THE ONE I LOVE.

See this film. The end.

the one i love movie

No, really, you should see THE ONE I LOVE despite my inability to share the plot beyond telling you that it's about a couple trying to work through issues related to the husband having an affair on the wife. That sounds dark and depressing — and THE ONE I LOVE started off that way, I admit. The dark and depressing lasted only about three minutes, though (as did Ted Danson's part as the therapist). Then the quirky and intriguing and unusual and unexpected... well, you just gotta see it to understand.

The trailer tells a little more about this imaginative romantic comedy (tinged with sci-fi) written by Justin Lader, directed by Charlie McDowell, and starring Mark Duplass and Elizabeth Moss as Ethan and Sophie, a husband and wife who have their minds blown while on a marriage retreat recommended by their marriage counselor (Danson):

I've never watched Mad Men (I know, I know) so I have nothing to reference regarding Elizabeth Moss' character in THE ONE I LOVE compared to her most prominent role, but she was fabulous in this film. She was sweet and loving at one turn, a real <cuss> at another, playing both convincingly. And Mark Duplass — whom I sort of recall from small parts in small films — now holds an unforgettable spot in my heart. His subtle humor had me laughing out loud; his obvious internal conflict throughout much of THE ONE I LOVE proved endearing.

I wish I could tell you more that might lead you to watch this tiny film with big impact. Oh, wait! There is this: THE ONE I LOVE is nominated in the Best First Screenplay category of the 2015 Independent Spirit Awards (for Justin Lader). Additionally, Elizabeth Moss won the Outstanding Achievement in Acting award in the 2014 Newport Beach Film Festival and Charlie McDowell won "Special Citation" from the 2014 San Francisco Film Critics Circle.

Here the stars talk about keeping the plot secret and more:

Jim and I nearly passed up THE ONE I LOVE when it popped up in my Netflix streaming queue because the cover is rather untelling, unenticing (I don't recall when or why I added it to my queue). I'm so glad we didn't. I hope you won't pass it up either — despite not knowing, really, what it's about or why I'm recommending it. 

Bottom line is pretty much just what I said above: See this film. The end.

THE ONE I LOVE (rated R for language, some sexuality and drug use) released theatrically in August 2014 and is now available on Blu-ray, DVD and digital streaming. Find out a bit more on the film's Facebook page or Twitter account.